World War I and Pigeons

 World War I and PigeonsPigeons were considered as the best and reliable mode of communication during the First World War. It is estimated that around 100,000 pigeons were employed in the war as messengers with a 95% success rate. Since there was no advancement in technology nor communication and there was absolutely no reliable mode of communication. Animals were used as a trial, and then later pigeons and dogs (both extremely loyal pets) were employed for this purpose. Pigeons were also extremely common then. During the battle of the Marne (1914), the French extensively employed these bird messengers in the army and took them along.

Once the battle began, there was a lot of disorientation and confusion among the Army and then pigeons were released with clear messages tied to them. This worked out to be an effective strategy and also gave the army clarity in their actions. However, an astonishing fact is how these birds reach perfectly back to their headquarters even when (most of the times) the Army would mostly relocate their boot camp.


These pigeons were renowned for their capabilities for returning home or to their breeders. The indomitable strength of a pigeon was not just this characteristic but also the furious pace at which it can fly, this almost made it difficult for the enemy lines to attack them or even spot them in the sky. However the enemies could still bring them down by counter attacking them with their natural predator, like a falcon.

These birds have a credit of saving over thousands of lives and also of mobilizing many battles and movements through the War. Their services has been accredited by the nation by honouring them with awards and other medals. The Royal Pigeon Racing Association had an exhibition with all the details and distinct achievements of these extraordinary contributors in its annual exhibition.

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